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Holly LaFon
Holly LaFon
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David Herro Comments on Altran Technologies

April 08, 2014 | About:
The top contributing stock for the quarter was French company Altran Technologies (XPAR:ALT). Altran provides a range of outsourced consulting services, categorized into four main areas: information systems, mechanical engineering, systems engineering and managing product lifecycles. Altran’s fiscal 2013 revenues increased a modest 2% year-over-year, which was in line with our expectations; however, revenue trends accelerated during the second half of 2013, positioning the company for better growth in 2014. More importantly, Altran continues to improve how it uses its employees. Its invoicing rates improved in the 4th quarter up from the prior year’s 4th quarter period, and they surpassed 86% in November for the first time. Higher invoicing rates are necessary for Altran to narrow the gap between its margins and the margins of its best-in-class peers. Assuming these positive trends continue in 2014, we expect Altran will report another year of margin improvement.

From David Herro (Trades, Portfolio)'s Oakmark International Small Cap Fund: First Quarter 2014 Commentary.

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